Politics & Government

NAACP to release report on tea party links to hate groups

Three months ago in Kansas City, the NAACP first raised charges of racism within the tea party movement. Today a report is being released accusing tea party groups of providing platforms to anti-Semites and other bigots.

“These groups and individuals are out there, and we ignore them at our own peril,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous in a statement announcing the report. “They are speaking at tea party events, recruiting at rallies, and in some cases remain in the tea party leadership itself.”

The 94-page report is being released by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in a teleconference today.

In July, NAACP delegates passed a resolution at their national convention in Kansas City condemning racism within the tea party movement, creating a national furor. The NAACP board of directors ratified the resolution last week.

Tea party leaders condemned the report on Tuesday.

“Here we go again,” said Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation. “This is typical of this liberal group’s smear tactics.”

A Kansas City Star article in July found ties between several racist groups and tea parties, but tea party leaders said such incidents were not widespread.

The new report describes what it calls links between tea party factions and white supremacist groups, anti-immigrant organizations and militias, according to a news release issued by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which wrote the document.

Not only have tea parties given platforms to extremists, the news release said, the movement is a recruiting ground for hard-core white nationalists who are “hoping to push these (white) protesters toward a more self-conscious and ideological white supremacy.”

The report, “Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of Its National Factions,” was written by Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart of the Kansas City-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.

To read the complete article, visit www.kansascity.com.

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